From the beginning, we have committed to run a positive campaign focused on unifying a broad coalition based on facts and issues and abstain from attacking the character of other candidates in the race. I am disappointed but not surprised that other candidates have chosen character defamation and resorted to warping words but as a Christian I will continue striving to turn the other cheek and unite our conservative coalition.
For decades many of us have allowed our politicians to state they are "perfect", and we have supported them as they attack their opponents. It was perceived as a winning campaign recipe, but these short-sighted tactics have hurt our society and further divided our community. We now have a low voter participation rate that has enabled the election of irresponsible, unaccountable politicians that do not have to live up to their ministerial duties.
As a candidate and potential city council member, I will always support the law, but when the facts change, and the law changes, I will reassess those facts as part of my ministerial duties. Before the speed limit changes from 55 mph to 60 mph, whether we agree or not, we must support and respect the law or accept the consequences. However, when new facts arise, we reevaluate our stance and reassess a new course of corrective action. Houstonians deserve no less from responsible, accountable leaders.
I appreciate your continued support of our "Campaign of Now" to make Houston better by focusing on Accountability, Responsibility and Community. In case you missed it you can can view details of my position on the equal rights ordinance and my latest call for good leadership.
The law is the law and must be enforced.
According to the recent ruling on Houston's equal rights ordinance, last week's Texas Supreme Court opinion states:
"…the City Council decided, of its own accord, not to act, disregarding the City Secretary’s certification that the petition had enough signatures. The Charter, however, gives the City Council no discretion to reevaluate the petition; instead, it requires “immediate” action by the City Council following the City Secretary’s certification."
When initially passed, HERO was the law - and should rightly have been enforced by our elected officials - but now that status has been firmly supplanted, and the final direction for our city on this issue is in an unhealthy state of uncertainty. Regardless of the final outcome, the process should be transparent, inclusive and civil with the intention to seek understanding, consensus and common ground.This impartial judgement from our state Supreme Court regarding the status of the Mayor's equal rights ordinance is binding on this municipality and must be enacted. As new facts emerge responsible leadership must respond.
Today I spoke at City Hall and publicly asked our Mayor why the Texas Supreme Court directive on HERO has not been carried out. The equal rights ordinance should be put on the agenda and placed before Houston City Council immediately as required. Every day our leadership delays on this issue, our city becomes more and more divided and imbalanced.
In the spirit of unity and justice, responsible City leadership must be accountable to the people - and to our charter and the rule of law - and the Mayor must allow the Council to act immediately and decide a course of action on this issue, as the ruling demands.
Regardless whether we stand with those who want to repeal this ordinance outright, or if we believe the people deserve a choice and have a right to vote, our city government is responsible for following the directives from our state's justice system and must be held accountable by implementing their ministerial duties.
Leadership is obligated to pursue this course of action, not only to the people for a proper balance of power, but also to our other branches of government at the state and local level - for effective checks and balances on the exercise of government power.
Our strong mayor form of government deems our mayor responsible for executing our city's core functions - and that includes following the law. And we as citizens across our many diverse communities are responsible for holding our elected officials equally accountable. Houstonians deserve responsible leadership accountable to our communities, with unifying goals and an inclusive approach to policymaking.
Today I am proud to stand with my fellow citizens and call for our democratic processes to be put in effect. This is what my "Campaign of Now" is all about - we don't have to wait to be elected to make a difference in Houston. I call on our city council to join in demanding the placement of this item on this week's agenda. The mayor had adequate time and should proceed to do so immediately. Our democratic values demand no less, and for justice to prevail in our city, I call for complete transparency on this matter in full light of public discourse immediately.
Proponents on both sides of the ordinance have been well intentioned, and should at least be able to agree on the principle of the protection of equal rights. How best to achieve those ends has yet to be determined, but should be decided soon. First, however, the mayor must allow the council to debate and vote whether to repeal the ordinance outright or let the voters choose. Either way, Houston must unite and move forward to address our pressing fiscal crisis together.
As most of you may know (if you have been keeping up with the news today), the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Houston City Council must repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (H.E.R.O) or place it on the November ballot for the voters to decide within 30 days of today’s ruling.
This is just another blow to the legacy of Mayor Parker who has had two of her major platform issues (Rebuild Houston & H.E.R.O.) being reversed in the Texas Supreme Court because it was trying to mislead or suppress our liberty as Houstonians to vote with a full understanding of the issues.
When I announced my candidacy earlier this year, H.E.R.O. was still very fresh on many peoples' minds and several would ask me what my stance was on the issue. As a political outsider, I would say that I respected the judicial system, and felt that it was beyond my control as a candidate or even elected official until we knew the decision of the court. Regardless of the decision, I would uphold the law as it is written and fight to make sure that civil and religious liberties would never be compromised. I also wanted to take the time to do my due diligence during the exploratory phase of my campaign to understand the ordinance and history of its implementation before providing an opinion. For a very limited, but loud, few; that meant that I was in support of the ordinance - which was a complete fabrication of my stance on the issue and my support for equal rights.
I have now realized why people were asking me that question. They wanted to know what values I stand on. I have been consistent about what my values are: God, Family, and Community. As a Christian, I feel that we will all be equally judged by God for our life on earth, and as stated in the Bible, I am to love God, and love my neighbor. I am to run away from my own sin and other sin, but I am always supposed to share love to the sinner, since God is love. These values form the core principles of my campaign – to unite and strengthen our communities, build coalitions from the bottom up, and be responsible and accountable to the will of the people.
H.E.R.O. was a personal agenda pushed by a mayor that was abusing the legislative power of our strong mayor form of government and neglecting the major responsibilities of providing for the basic needs of Houstonians, like a sustainable budget, fixing the streets, infrastructure and addressing crime.
Because her focus was so far away from practical issues pertaining to the core role of government, we now have been put in a place where we have unsustainable pensions that take all the money from other departments to balance the budget. This has left us with horrible infrastructure that required an outside source of income (Rebuild Houston) to remedy a solution, but as we know that was later ruled by the Texas Supreme Court to have misled the voters.
Mayor Parker made H.E.R.O. her own little “Trojan Horse” by saying that it was eliminating discrimination and providing equal rights for all Houstonians, but in reality, she was trying to provide special rights for a select group of the GLBT community. She would fight for that by any means necessary, and proved that when she would not uphold the validated petition to place the ordinance on the ballot and tried to violate religious liberty by demanding, with a subpoena, pastors to turn over their sermons.
Now the question has come back to my campaign about my stance on H.E.R.O. now that we have a court ruling, and after having the due diligence to review both sides of the issue, I am willing to make the following statement:
I will fight for religious and civil liberties for all Houstonians, as well as property rights. I will hold government accountable to the same standards it imposes upon the people and the private sector. The current language of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance does not provide those protections, so if given the opportunity to vote as a citizen of Houston, I will be voting “NO”.
Today’s decision by the Texas Supreme Court is a victory for our democratic processes, helps maintain a proper balance of power and reinstates local control by restoring the freedom to our voters to decide what is right. Our traditional conservative values of limited government and liberty were upheld, but this fight is not over.
We will see a strong coalition of those that favor the ordinance that will start lobbying and marketing for your vote. I encourage voters to unite behind a team of candidates who will fight for our values now, and not kick the can down the road. Today I stand as a leader with my conservative friends and other candidates to defeat the ordinance as it is written and will uphold our freedom every time…So Help Me God!
I have omitted the following sentence from my statement: "I am against pedophiles having the opportunity to go into bathrooms with the intention of violating the innocence of our young sons and daughters. " This sentence was taken by some that I am saying that the transgender community are pedophiles, which is a complete fabrication of the truth. That assumption will continue to divide our great city, so in the spirit of unity, I decided it should be deleted.
I am against anything that would violate my son's innocence, and we all can agree that pedophiles do. Ultimately, I looked at H.E.R.O. as it was written and gave it the benefit of the doubt. Had my research determined that it provided equal rights for all I would have supported the ordinance, but it did not. This decision was not taken lightly. It was covered in prayer and consultation of my trusted friends and advisers.
Ultimately, this social issue has divided up our city and taken the focus off of what the fiscal problems are in our city. I think it is time for the citizen's to decide for themselves on the ballot if they want the ordinance instead of allowing a mayor and city council to get in the way of our right to vote. The Texas Supreme Court put our municipal government on the clock, and they need to act swiftly. I hope you will stand with me to make this happen.